This morning, one of our friends invited families over to her house for an “after summer” get-together. The kids were to come prepared to show and/or tell about something they did during the summer break. They stood up, one by one, and gave their presentations — some short, some long, some with visual aids, others without.
It was a great time of learning — a couple of the students were involved in a movie project this summer, others went camping, some went to the lake while others took a trip to the beach. Not only did we learn about what they did, but we learned about the places they visited as well.
Of course, some of the children were more shy than others, but they all stood up to say something. Although it was a simple show and tell, the presentations were definitely a part of their education. Speaking in front of others or in a public setting is an important skill for any child to learn. The earlier they begin, the easier it will be when they enter the more self-conscious teen years. Then hopefully, as adults, they will find it easier to do.
I can recall being shy in school; I never wanted to speak up in class. Often when the teacher asked a question and I knew the answer, I wouldn’t raise my hand but instead just sit there until someone else did. This tendency continued into my college classes, where I would stare silently at the professor rather than answer his question. As a result, I’ve had to work much harder at it as an adult. Now I readily accept invitations to speak, but inside I’m a nervous wreck.
As homeschoolers, we might have difficulty finding opportunities for our children to speak in public. If they were in a traditional school, they’d have oral reports and projects to present to the class; they’d perform in skits or plays. Organizing a “show and tell,” however, is an easy thing we can do to give our students extra practice. The more they practice, the better they’ll be at it, and the more their self-confidence will shine through.
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Photo from stephaniemezcurra